This is a table medal that commemorates the beginning and end of the Prussian Reichstag Building’s construction in Berlin. The table medal measures 33mm in diameter. The massive building was begun in 1884 during Kaiser Wilhelm I’s reign and completed in 1894 during his grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s rule. Prior to its completion, the legislature was scattered throughout several Berlin locations.
[The building gained great notoriety in 1933 after a “mysterious” fire caused it considerable damage. The event and who started the fire remains under debate; some historians feel that it was started by the Nazis themselves. It allowed Adolf Hitler’s government to limit Germans’ personal rights and freedoms, and allowed Hitler to consolidate his power. The damage was not repaired. The Reichstag’s legislative role was ended until after WW II. The building suffered further damage during the war. After East and West Germany reunified in 1990, the German government decided to renovate the building and use it once more as the German legislature’s seat. While the building’s interior primarily was new, much of its exterior design was retained (including a 1960’s renovation). The building was reopened in 1999 and remains the seat of German government today].
The table medal’s obverse displays the completed building as its central motif. The building’s start and completion dates also appear, as does mention of the building. The medal’s reverse sports a truly beautiful design that displays a Hohenzollern Eagle in its center. Circling it are the assorted states’ shields from the Second Reich (the Imperial Age). Each Kingdom, Grand Duchy, Duchy, Principality, and Free State is represented. Detailed etching appears on the rim. This is a truly historic table medal representing what is now one of modern Germany’s most impressive buildings.